Google Retires Web Light Webpage Transcoding

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Google revealed they are retiring the 7 year old Web Light service that enhanced web pages for devices on slow mobile phones and mobile connections.

The official Google designer page paperwork for Web Light Google and the associated user representative (googleweblight) are both retired.

Google Web Light

Presented in 2015, the purpose of the Web Light service was to make more of the web available to users in nations with sluggish mobile connections and devices.

The service worked by enhancing web pages so that downloading them utilized 80% less information, resulting in a four-fold boost in speed over the slower 2G mobile networks.

According to Google the service in a 50% increase in traffic to websites.

Web Light previously dealt with Chrome and Android internet browsers and just when Google found a slow connection. The performance did not activate for desktop gadgets or tablets, just for mobile phones on slow connections.

Google Analytics still operated in the Web Light enhanced pages.

In terms of ad serving, Web Light optimized pages supported Sovrn, Zedo, AdSense, and Google Publisher Tags.

So in theory Web Light should not have affected advertisement profits however rather increased them since transcoded web pages received up to 50% more traffic at the time.

The service was first presented in Indonesia and after that to India.

The now deleted paperwork explained the functionality of Web Light:

“Google shows much faster, lighter pages to people browsing on sluggish mobile customers.

To do this, we transcode (transform) web pages on the fly into a variation optimized for slow clients, so that these pages fill quicker while conserving data.

This technology is called Web Light.

Web Light pages preserve a majority of the pertinent material and supply a link for users to see the initial page. “

Web Light No Longer Needed

Seven years later, the schedule of economical however effective mobile phones and an improvement in mobile connection speeds made the necessity of the service no longer needed.

According to Statista, 99% of mobile information use in India throughout 2021 took place over 4G gadgets.

In 2015 there were just 47 million gadgets that were 4G capable compared to 650 million in 2021.

The Google designer documents for Web Light was eliminated and a note was contributed to Google’s User Representative documentation to communicate that the Web Light user representative is retired.

Google’s statement stated:

“Removed the Web Light documentation and retired the Web Light user representative.

We presented Web Light to enable us to serve quicker, lighter pages to people browsing on entry-level devices.

While this function has actually worked as designated and allowed broader access to the richness of the web, increased affordability of more effective smart devices has actually diminished the need for such functionality.

We remain dedicated to developing and fine-tuning the Browse experience to satisfy the changing needs of our users.”

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero